Winter Workout Tips for Your Horse

January 18, 2016 2 min read

jument  baieWinter doesn’t have to be a time of hibernation for your horse. It is actually better to keep your horse in some sort of shape during the winter rather than giving him several months off and trying to get back in to show season shape in a hurry. Winter workouts help maintain your horse’s fitness, preserve training, and promote mental well being. Here are some tips to help you properly work your horse during the winter months:

Warm Ups

Warming up the cold muscles in the winter is critical to a safe ride. It stretches the muscles and joints and also gets your horse’s circulation going. Warm ups should be around 10-20 minutes. Warm ups can include small circles, lateral movements, counter flexions, halts, backing, walk to trot transitions, and so on.

Workouts

The main part of your horse’s workout is generally geared towards keeping your horse in condition and refining his skills. If you are riding three days a week, you should try to make one of those rides a “serious” ride. Depending on your disciple, this may include jumping, running a pattern, etc. This will also help to keep your horse’s mind in the game.

Show Conditioning

If you plan on showing your horse throughout the winter, conditioning shouldn’t be much different than during the summer. Create your work out plans based on how much fitness is needed for your show. If your horse is barefoot during the winter, put shoes on him 2-3 weeks prior to the show date to address any soreness if necessary.

Cool Downs

After any hard workout, your horse needs a proper cool down before returning to this stall or turnout. The circulation from a cool down helps to keep your horse from becoming stiff and sore. If the horse’s skin is wet from sweating, the horse needs to completely dry out to keep the horse from getting chills. Walk your horse quietly under saddle for about 10-15 minutes or until he stops breathing heavily. Depending on how a horse is clipped, some horses may need a cooler on when being cooled out to keep them from catching a chill. Winter workouts are essential to your horse’s overall condition. Take advantage of the cooler temperatures and get out there and ride! For more information on winter workouts, CLICK HERE.


Also in Blog

Should They Stay or Go? Tips to Find Pet-Friendly Lodging
Should They Stay or Go? Tips to Find Pet-Friendly Lodging

June 20, 2022 4 min read

Pets of all shapes and sizes are an integral part of people’s lives, filling the days with barks, meows, and more. When it comes to traveling, bringing a pet along can be fun but having them stay home can be simpler. Read further to see a breakdown of what factors you should consider when planning a trip with your pet in mind.
How to Help Your Dog (and Horse) During Firework Holidays
How to Help Your Dog (and Horse) During Firework Holidays

June 16, 2022 3 min read

It’s that time of the year again. The time when families gather, food is prepared, we celebrate our country's freedom, and yes - fireworks. For the non-animal family, it's just another day to celebrate; however, those of us with animals can feel the anxiety coming way before that first boom of those beautiful fireworks. 

The Benefits of Coffee
The Benefits of Coffee

June 09, 2022 3 min read

Aside from filling your home with a lovely aroma, perking you up in the mornings, and serving as a reason to meet up with a friend, coffee has been shown to serve many health benefits.